MAK Center, Los Angeles

Schindler House | 835 North Kings Road, West Hollywood
CA 90069-5409 Los Angeles

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The MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House Presents: Arnulf Rainer. Hyper-Graphics

Opening Reception: Wednesday, May 16, 6-8 p.m.

The MAK Center is pleased to present Arnulf Rainer. Hyper-Graphics, a comprehensive exhibition of the acclaimed Austrian artist’s graphic works. On view from May 17-August 26, 2007, the exhibition highlights the artist’s poster designs for exhibitions of his work from 1951 through 2007. In addition to 26 posters, the exhibition also includes many preparatory drawings, as well as designs for invitations, books, catalogue covers and other collateral materials. In keeping with his customary practice, Rainer has designed the poster for the MAK Center exhibition.

Arnulf Rainer is one of the most renowned contemporary Austrian artists. Born in 1929, his paintings are characteristic of the expressionism and alienation of post World War II Viennese art. Rainer’s work explores the causes and limitations of artistic expression, pushing methodology and subject matter to extreme states of subjective experience.

Rainer himself created the poster designs for almost all his exhibitions, as well as for collaborative cultural projects such as theater productions. For each poster, he produced a variety of designs and graphic detailing that were eventually brought together in the production process. Rainer’s impressive originals employ an approach that combines a calligraphic style with photographs and painterly elements. By juxtaposing the posters with preparatory materials, Arnulf Rainer. Hyper-Graphics provides insights into the artist’s intense and concentrated working method. Through its chronological presentation, the exhibition also serves as a survey of Rainer’s artistic development and exhibition history.

In his posters, Arnulf Rainer adapts techniques and methodologies from his paintings to the exigencies of graphic communications. Inspired by Surrealism, Rainer uses primitive, scribbling gestures as a means to access essential, subconscious truths. Famous for his use of “overpainting,” Rainer also layers his posters with imagery and abstract gestures. Frequently, he starts with self-portraits, either photographs or drawings. Whereas in his paintings, he often obliterates the original image, in the posters, Rainer utilizes cross-outs and erasures but retains the clarity necessary to read information.

In the poster works, Rainer can be seen exploring writing as an independent element, far beyond its communicative function. At times, he consciously detaches graphic elements from their formal origins to develop their expressive potential. His calligraphy reflects the content of the information, and he continually explores even his signature as an opportunity to try out new design possibilities.

Arnulf Rainer. Hyper-Graphics will be on view at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture from May 17–August 26, 2007. The MAK Center is located at the Schindler House, 835 N. Kings Road in West Hollywood. Public hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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Arnulf Rainer